According to researchers from the University of Michigan Health System
Menopause does not raise a woman’s odds of developing diabetes. They found that this was true for those women who underwent natural menopause and for those who had their ovaries removed.
“In our study, menopause had no additional effect on risk for diabetes,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Catherine Kim, associate professor of internal medicine and obstetrics and gynecology.
“Menopause is one of many small steps in the aging; and it doesn’t mean women’s health will be worse after going through this transition.”
Researchers examined more than 1,200 women between the ages of 40 and 65 for the study.
Each woman had glucose intolerance (a pre-stage to diabetes characterized by high blood sugar levels). For every year that 100 women were observed, 11.8 premenopausal women developed diabetes. Compared to 10.5 among women in natural menopause and 12.9 cases among women who had their ovaries removed.
On the other hand, women who had their ovaries removed lost 7 percent of their body weight and exercised for at least 150 minutes per week, noticing a decline in their risk for diabetes.
The study showed that for every year 100 of these women, only 1.1 of them developed diabetes. It was interesting to note that among this group, nearly all of the women were on hormone replacement therapy which can put them at risk for any other health problems. Additional research will be needed to determine if there is a tie between hormone therapy and the risk of diabetes.
“Physicians can be empowered to tell women that lifestyle changes can be very effective and that menopause does not mean that they have a higher risk of diabetes,” concluded Kim.
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